Friday, February 03, 2006

Satanic cartoons

The Danish cartoons of Muhammad have set off the usual round of riots, hostage-taking, and apocalyptic death-threats.

Is there ever a time when the Muslim world is not in a rage over something or another?

Speaking for myself, I actually think that we shouldn’t go out of our way to offend people and be needlessly provocative.

I also don’t think that the legal right to do something automatically make it right.

Those disclaimers aside, how should we respond to the latest fit of hysterical indignation from the Muslim world?

At the risk of stating the obvious, political cartoons are a form of satire. The genre is inherently unfair and over-the-top. It scores its points by hyperbole. At its best, satire takes a principle to its logical extreme.

It would actually be difficult to satirize Islam. For millions of Muslims are only too eager to embody the worst possible stereotype. They’re right out of central casting for Villains R Us.

In Islam, it’s blasphemous to depict “the Prophet” at all, much less depict him in ever-so slightly less than hagiographic terms.

Should the Western world allow the Muslim world to rule our lives from afar? To dictate what we say and do?

Should we live in perpetual fear of a blood-curdling temper tantrum every time an “infidel” says or does something that rubs the hypersensitive ego of the Muslim world the wrong way?

The Muslim world resembles a collective, overgrown brat. Indulgent parents have allowed it to become a schoolyard bully, like little Damien in The Omen.

The best remedy is to give the screaming brat a sound thrashing with a cruise missile or two. Then send junior to bed without his supper. Let his throbbing red welts do the reasoning.

3 comments:

  1. The best remedy is to give the screaming brat a sound thrashing with a cruise missile or two. Then send junior to bed without his supper. Let his throbbing red welts do the reasoning.

    :-)

    I like it Steve, although our humanist friends who employ an Anabaptist hermeneutic may not fully appreciate this.

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  2. Speaking for myself, I actually think that we shouldn’t go out of our way to offend people and be needlessly provocative.

    I also don’t think that the legal right to do something automatically make it right.

    Those disclaimers aside, how should we respond to the latest fit of hysterical indignation from the Muslim world?


    As the latest evidence of gross hypocrisy? Anyone who has seen Egyptian or Palestinian political cartoons can have little sympathy for the upset Muslims in this case. Of course, reason will not be heard above the mooing of all those gored sacred cows.

    And I agree entirely with your reservations about unnecessary provocation. One need not throw stones at a hornet's nest to learn what the response will be.

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  3. I must say, I rather liked the cartoon showing Muhammad pleading with a line of suicide bombers on their way to paradise:

    "Stop, stop! We ran out of virgins!"

    ReplyDelete